1. This Psalm (along with Ps 111) is an acrostic poem. In the Hebrew translation this Psalm consists of 22 short lines (or half verses) which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (alelph , bet , gimel , dalet , he , waw, zayin, het , tet , yod, kap, lamed , mem , nun , samek, ayin, pe, sade, qop, res, sin, taw) . This is probably an aid to memorization of the Psalms . The Psalms were after all the hymnbook of Israel, and the memorisation of these added to the rich deposit of truth in the hearts and minds of the Jews. We have previously looked at a few psalms in the Psalm 120- 134 range, which are entitled ‘song of ascents‘ – in all likelihood songs sung by worshippers ascending to Mt Zion , the location of the temple in Jerusalem. They must have had these words in their minds and hearts , to sing them as they ascended. So the use of acrostics , and poetic language and Hebrew parallelism are all aids to memorisation of the Word of God.
2. We are not told who the author of the Psalm is, but it is highly likely that 111 and 112 were composed by the same author.
3. The subject of Psalm 112 is stated in the first verse, and it expounded in verses 2 to 9. The final verse (v.10) makes mention of the response of the ungodly or wicked man to the fortunes of the righteous .
V.1. Praise the LORD!
Please note that Psalms 111, 112 and 113 all begin in the same way: Praise the Lord, - hallelujah! Hallelujah is said whenever we are overwhelmed by great theology! The heart best sings to God, and praises God, when great thoughts about God are heard and understood. What we desperately need in our churches is more preaching that passionately and prayerfully and powerfully expounds the greatness of God! John Piper in his book “The Supremacy of God in Preaching” says this in the opening words of his book: “People are starving for the greatness of God. But most of them would not give this diagnosis of their troubled lives. The majesty of God is an unknown cure. There are far more popular prescriptions on the market, but the benefit of any other remedy is brief and shallow. Preaching that does not have the aroma of God’s greatness may entertain for a season , but it will not touch the hidden cry of the soul : “Show me thy glory!” (p.9)
So if Spurgeon and other commentators are right , and if Psalms 111 and 112 hang together , we shall find that Psalm 111 provides the fuel for the heart praises God and which is transformed by the knowledge and the understanding of His great works, His splendour and majesty, righteousness and of His gracious and merciful providences to His covenant people.
In Psalm 111:10 we find the connecting thought between Psalms 111 & 112: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom , all those who practise it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.”
And the opening words of Ps 112:1 confirm and echo these thoughts: “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments!”
What precisely is it that produces the desire for the Psalmist to praise God?
It is “the fear of the Lord!”
Here is the reason for praise. The man who understands the God of Psalm 111 is the man who sees God in a right relationship to himself . He sees God for who He is , and he is humbled, and he therefore learns to fear God. He learns to live life with God in mind. David says in Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me; (and here is the result ) because He is at my right hand , I shall not be shaken”. This is a God fearing man – he always has the Lord before him! He fears God more than anyone or anything. Needless to say that this is a godly fear, not a slavish fear “… a delightful emotion, by no means engendering bondage” (Spurgeon: Vol III, p.15) . The fear of the Lord , unlike the fear of man does not bring us into bondage , but into Liberty – and that is why this man is blessed .
 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! (Psalm 34:8-9 ESV)
Praise the Lord!
V.2. His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Here , the best I can do is to illustrate :
1. From the lives of Jonathan Edwards & Max Jukes : The lives of these two men were studied by A.E. Winship (1900) ( A Study in Education and Heredity). Jonathan Edwards (born 1703) , probably America’s greatest theologian and pastor , entered Yale College at age 13 and graduated with honours. At the end of his life he was the principal of Princeton University . He had married Sarah Pierrepont, and their descendants include a U.S. Vice-President, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers and 100 missionaries. This same study also examined a family known as “Jukes”. In 1877, while visiting New York’s prisons, Richard Dugdale found inmates with 42 different last names all descending from one man, called “Max.” Max Jukes was born around 1720 of Dutch stock. He was a hard drinker, idle, irreverent and uneducated. His descendants included 310 paupers, who, combined spent 2,300 years in poorhouses, 50 women of debauchery, 400 physically wrecked by indulgent living, 7 murderers, 60 thieves, and 130 other convicts. The “Jukes” descendants apparently cost the state more than $1,250,000.
2. Obituary from B.U. Handbook 1992/3 on the life of Henry Trenbarth Jeffrey ( p 181) – an ordinary church member –
The point is obvious: Those God fearing people that embrace the awesome God of Psalm 111 are mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed!
FURTHER BLESSINGS …
V.3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. On this text , Spurgeon comments : “ Understood literally this is rather a promise of the Old Covenant than the new , for many of the best of the people of God are very poor; yet it has been found that uprightness is the road of success , and, all other things being equal, the honest man is the rising man…. If we understand the passage spiritually , it is abundantly true. What wealth can equal that of the love of God? What riches can equal a contented heart ?” (p.16). May I remind you that the true, ultimate riches of a Christian are not of a temporal nature. We have treasures that the world knows nothing of! They are virtues like peace, contentment, security, power in prayer, experience of God’s providence etc. Our Lord Jesus Himself encouraged His disciples to focus on eternal rather than temporal things (cf Jn 6:27). An abundant measure of physical wealth may not be to our advantage. Once again, Spurgeon rightly observes: “Often, when gold comes in , the gospel goes out”. Not so with the blessed man. He keeps the gospel close to His heart and the fear of the Lord guides him and directs His footsteps, and if he should become prosperous (which is not an ungodly thing in itself), this prosperity does not destroy the holiness of his life or the humility of his heart.
V.4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. Here is the perspective which we may easily loose in vv 2 &3. It is clear that the blessed man will have his days of darkness. He may become sick. He may suffer bereavement or financial loss (Job) It may be that his character is unjustly assaulted or his integrity attacked ( see v.10). He may have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death- and yet he fears no ill! Why? Because the Lord upholds Him in his trial. The child of God is sustained by his God in his darkest hours . ”Never will I leave you , never will I forsake you.(Hebr 13:5; Josh 1:5) This is his constant promise. Only one was once utterly forsaken – for your sake, so that you who trust Him will not be forsaken. The joy of the righteous man is not conditioned by the nature of the rough roads that he has to frequently travel on. His joy is in Him who walks and often carries him on this road. He knows that in the midst of his trial his redeemer lives (Job) . He knows whom he has believed, and he is persuaded that he will be kept until the coming of Christ (2 Tim 1:12)
v.5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
The man who fears the Lord shall find that he has enough , so that he can share with those in need , and of course – he will provide for those in need because the mercy and compassion and grace received from God moves him to be an imitator of these godly virtues. He becomes a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7) ; he conducts his affairs with justice. He is fair, and will never rob anyone , nor be a burden to anyone. He is a resource person in society. He contributes in every way- physically, emotionally, spiritually. He does not cost! He does not drain. He is like the Lord Jesus – He makes many rich (even though He was poor!)
Vv 6-9 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.  He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.  He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.
Neither man , nor devil will unsettle him. Again , the secret is found in the fact that this man trusts in the Lord (v.7b). His courage has a firm foundation. He is not a rolling stone but a pillar in the house of God. He is not afraid of man because He fears God more than man. Verse 9 highlights his generosity again - and all this because he is rooted in God who through Christ has endued him with a righteousness that is not only a theological fact but a practical expression in his life. His horn is exalted in honour. The horn in the Scripture is a symbol of strength. To lift up one’s horn usually means to be proud and boastful (e.g. Psalm 75:4) , but in our verse this is an instance in which the Lord exalts him – humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you (1 Peter 5:6 ; Psalm 147:6)
V. 10 The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish! Warning! There is an occupational hazard in being a God fearing man! The wicked will hate you without cause (Jn 15:25- Psalm 35:19; Psalm 69:4). Understand this , and do not be surprised when your righteousness and integrity at work causes some to be offended at you. Jesus has warned you that this will happen. Understand this , and you will not be caught off guard, but know this – that the end of the wicked will be terrible, and therefore you must not envy them or despise them (this is the lesson that the Psalmist had to learn in Psalm 73).
1. ‘Knowing God ‘ leads us to a life of thankful praise. Knowing God comes from regular meditation and memorisation of God’s Word with prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
2. Knowing God produces the fear of the Lord which keeps us from sin and so many spiritual maladies and faulty ways of thinking.
3. Knowing God makes us truly wise in every sense of the word , so that it is not surprising when we make wise decisions that lead to material, emotional , spiritual prosperity.
4. Knowing God makes you become an imitator of His character – gracious , merciful , righteous , generous.
5. Knowing God makes you fearless in fearful times.
6. Knowing God makes you not envy the wicked.